«by Dyron Keith Dabney A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Political Science) ...»
district seat in 2000) securing the DPJ membership was relatively simple. Matsuzawa was opposed only by a Communist and by Ogawa Eiichi, who was again put forward by the LDP despite his lackluster performance in 1996.
In 1996 a lot of effort had gone into expanding the organizational infrastructure in his district. In the intervening four years Matsuzawa had continued to support his kouenkai, electoral keiretsu of elected politicians, and ties with various trade and community groups. By the time the 2000 Lower House election was announced, Matsuzawa estimated that he had had built a relationship with some 55,000 members of various social networks. According to Matsuzawa, nearly10,000 were CGP/Sokai Gakkai members, another 10,000 to 20,000 were labor union members; and about 15,000 were members of his kouenkai (July 11, 2000 interview).
There is no way to know how (or for that matter whether) all these people voted.
If they all went Matsuzawa’s way, his organizational vote would have been well over two-thirds of his total vote, but in fact the results were doubtlessly well short of that. The reality of kouenkai membership lists is that a number of individuals are “name only” members. Also, membership overlap is common since some voters are registered members in multiple kouenkai. Nonetheless, these factors undoubtedly contributed to Matsuzawa’s rather easy victory, as he and his staff concluded after the election.
Incumbency gave him many advantages—nothing like the resources Diet members in the governing LDP could command, but very helpful. Another plus were some organizational resources that came with his new membership with the DPJ. Three were prefectural assembly members, and nine were city counselors representing the DPJ or its
previous election, Matsuzawa’s party-related support had been just five CGP city-level politicians. He also had some union support thanks to Rengo’s attachment to the DPJ— probably somewhat more helpful than in 1996, though on the other hand Matsuzawa lost the support he had had earlier from the Soka Gakkai.60 What about his new party label as meaning something to voters? Matsuzawa was not confident that his affiliation with the DPJ would be that much help. He doubted that its rhetoric about issues, trying to project an image of political change and image, would attract much voter support. After all, various parties of the recent past—the JNP, the Shinsei Party, New Party Sakigake, and the NFP—had by and large exhausted the message of change and political reform. Certainly the DPJ was not able to match the LDP’s ability to generate public support by tailoring its policy platform to specific interests. He therefore decided to continue his candidate-centered approach, conveying a personal image of concern with policy issues.
Certainly Matsuzawa kept up his outdoor presentations and other direct appeals.
He conducted between three and five weekly outdoor speeches in front of the most active 18 train stations in the Kanagawa 9th district between the 1996 and 2000 Lower House elections. According to Matsuzawa, it took an average of six weeks to cycle through all of these stations. He also came up with a new device, a canvassing blitz (called a “rolling strategy, rouraa sakusen) throughout the district, taking advantage of volunteer support developed via his kouenkai. Most important were members of a volunteer “student corps,” who carried literature to individual households, and tried to stimulate 60 After its flirtation with the NFP, the Koumeitou (no longer called Clean Government Party or anything else in English) had reconstituted itself, and by the 2000 election was in coalition with the governing LDP.
estimated 15,000 to 20,000 residences were visited between September 1999 and June
2000) prior to the start of the formal campaign in June 2000. Although ostensibly designed to give residents an input into his policy platform, the real goal was to project a positive image to the public in a more personal way than speeches and meet-and-greet walks.
Regular outdoor canvassing set Matsuzawa apart from his opponents, who admitted that their electoral defeat was aided by a less than aggressive pursuit of votes to establish connections with voters. Matsuzawa admitted that he did not particularly delight in the hustle associated with this tactic to gain voters’ attention and support, but he was much more skillful at it than any of his opponents (July 4, 2000 and July 13, 2000 interviews with Ogawa Eiichi and Iguchi Mami, respectively). In a post-2000 election interview, Matsuzawa’s LDP opponent, Ogawa Eiichi, acknowledged that he had underestimated the electoral value of direct, Type B approaches such as outdoor presentations during his 1996 and 2000 election campaigns to safeguard and generate voter support. He agreed that Matsuzawa had “out-campaign” him in that regard (July 4, 2000 interview). Still, it seems clear that Ogawa needed more than outdoor speeches to defeat Matsuzawa. He wound up collecting only 28 percent of the vote (the Communist candidate had 17 percent), while Matsuzawa won with an absolute majority of 52 percent. With fewer candidates there were more votes to divide, and Ogawa increased his support by 15,000 votes, but Matsuzawa gained over 50,000 votes—doing better in that regard even in Ogawa’s home ward of Asao (see Table 3.6).
Conclusion Matsuzawa was clearly a very capable politician. His victory in 2000 was one of the most impressive in Japan that year. Matsuzawa’s new party, the DPJ, was now clearly the dominant opposition party with a solid chance of unseating the LDP and taking over the government. However, Matsuzawa chose not to seek his fortune within the national DPJ, the Diet, and perhaps before long the government. Instead he traded on his popularity in Kawasaki and beyond to run for the governorship of Kanagawa, and to win.
Urban and Rural Campaign Behavior: Usami Noboru and Genba Kouichirou Chapter three was devoted entirely to the examination of one candidate’s election campaign behavior within the context of a suburban district. In this chapter, however, we expand the investigation of election campaign behavior to urban and rural districts. That is, we examine election campaign behavior of two additional politicians under the MMD and MMM systems in the 1993, 1996 and 2000 Lower House elections within the context of the urban and rural districts. We cover much of the same ground as the previous chapter on the suburban district, concentrating on the candidates’ campaign strategies including their presentations of self and explanations of the results of the three elections.
However, we do so much more briefly to avoid repetition.
The two politicians selected are Usami Noboru and Genba Kouichirou. Usami ran in the Tokyo 2nd, Tokyo 3rd and Tokyo 4th election districts in the 1993, 1996 and 2000 general elections, respectively. Genba ran in the Fukushima 2nd in 1993 and Fukushima 3rd districts in the 1996 and 2000 general elections. By any measure the Tokyo election districts under review are urban and the Fukushima election districts are rural. Accordingly, we begin with the assumption common to the literature on Japanese elections that rural districts are mostly (using our terms) Type A and urban districts are mostly Type B in all the characteristics referenced in earlier chapters. That
including candidate image (personality and reputation) and organized political machines (networks of local politicians, organizations and associations). In urban election districts, conversely, voting is said to be more a matter of party identification and opinions about issues. In other words, candidates located in rural settings adopt a campaign strategy that places personality and networks at the center, while candidates in urban settings adopt a campaign strategy that place issues and the party at the center.
Candidates behave in these ways largely in response to the political culture of the city and countryside.61 Voters who live in urban districts have higher levels of political interest and overall participation (though not turnout), and express greater knowledge about issue-politics (particularly national politics) than voters who live in rural districts.
However, urban district voters are less socially integrated, cooperative, and personally connected to political leaders than their rural district counterpart.
The 1993 Lower House election was the first time Usami Noboru and Genba Kouichirou, like Matsuzawa Shigefumi, competed for seats in Japan’s national legislative assembly. Both politicians competed for one of five seats apportioned to their respective districts. Usami claimed the fifth seat in the Tokyo 2nd district, and Genba claimed the third seat in Fukushima 2nd district in the 1993 Lower House election. Both politicians won Lower House seats in 1993 with nearly the exact percentage of votes--Usami garnered 12.8 percent of the valid vote, while Genba garnered 12.7 percent of the valid vote. Both politicians had ties to the conservative-progressive splinter party, New Party 61 A candidate’s personal preference for a party-, personality-, network-, or issue-driven campaign is unlikely to override the political culture of the district. Most preferences manifest themselves in the absolute volume or intensity of a campaign tactic that corresponds to a party-, personality-, network-, or issue-driven campaign.
office in 1993 and in Japanese election history.
Usami Noboru Usami was born in Ohta ward and went to public schools there before enrolling in Waseda’s high school and college. He then attended the Matsushita Institute of Government and Politics (including a stint at an environmental think tank), graduating in its tenth class in 1992. After graduating from MIGM, Usami secured a job as a private secretary to LDP Diet member Takemura Masayoshi. His employment as a Diet secretary was a typical route to a political career considering the atypical training he received at MIGM to advance his political ambition. Takemura had previously been governor of Shiga Prefecture and was well known as an environmentalist and a reformist politician. With the breakup of the LDP in 1993, Takemura helped organize “New Party Sakigake,” and became its leader. None of the LDP incumbents who joined Sakigake represented the Tokyo 2nd district, so it was an easy choice for Takemura to tap Usami to run as the official nominee for the Tokyo 2nd district, although at age 26 he was the youngest candidate in the nation and consequently, a wildcard candidate for Sakigake.
The 1993 General Election The Tokyo 2nd district was composed of Ohta and Shinagawa wards and a small chain of islands off the coast of the Tokyo Bay under the MMD election system. It was the southeastern-most election district of the Metropolis, and bordered Kawasaki City.
62 Genba secured a seat in the Lower House in 1993 as independent candidate. However, he received an official party recommendation by New Party Sakigake. His official membership with the New Party Sakigake came shortly after his 1993 Lower House election victory.
industry, mostly parts suppliers to larger firms. Its population is quite varied, and as is generally true in Tokyo, all the political parties maintained stable constituencies in this district.
In light of Usami’s established residency in Ohta ward, political candidacy in the Tokyo 2nd district was the obvious choice. As the newly tapped Sakigake candidate, Usami faced ten independent and party backed opponents in the five-member district.
Who was Usami up against in the Tokyo 2nd district? All the incumbents from the previous 1990 election were running again and they appeared well entrenched. The top vote-getter was the LDP’s Ishihara Shintarou, the right-wing electoral phenomenon (now governor of Tokyo), who had gathered 119,743 of the 530,000 votes cast (See Table 4.1).
Second with 102,000 votes was Socialist powerhouse Ueda Tetsu, in his fifth term.
Actually, Ishihara had recently been touched by scandal, and 1990 had been a banner year for the JSP, so both of their votes could be expected to decline somewhat. In Ishihara’s case, voters would communicate their disfavors with him by giving their
decisions that fueled a protest vote favoring the Socialists in 1990 would have subsided in 1993.
The other three incumbents were second-term LDP Diet member Arai Shoukei (86,326 votes in 1990); Oouchi Keigo, who was then the Chairman of the Democratic Socialist Party (80,882); and Endou Otohiko of the Koumeito (76,285)—1990 had been his first election but Koumeitou, with its ultra-stable constituency, had held a seat in the district for some time.63 These five candidates—Ishihara, Ueda, Arai, Oouchi and Endou—had been relatively well bunched together in 1990, and it was the two top vote-getters, as previously, who would be expected to decline in 1993. That would not seem to leave a lot of room for a newcomer, and certainly if Takemura had stayed in the LDP there would have been no chance at all for his secretary to get a nomination in that party. As it was, Usami’s candidacy was announced only three days before the start of the official election campaign (just 15 days before the election) in the company of about 20 supporters, compared to gatherings of 300 to 400 persons among other candidates in the Tokyo 2nd district.
Given Usami’s hasty entry in the 1993 general election, what electoral strategies were available for him? Clearly, his readiness to run for office outweighed his preparedness to run for office. Neither his party nor he personally had any organizational infrastructure in the district. He had no confirmed endorsement or support from any organized groups (i.e., regional or national organizations and associations), no personally 63 The JCP ran the same candidate who had been runner-up in 1990 with 63,000 votes, and there were three very minor independents.